Samsung CXL DDR5 Memory, Tachyum Universal Processor and Imec Liquid Memories

Some recent advances in memory and processing are discussed in this article. We take a look at the latest Samsung CXL DDR5 memory announcement as well as Tachyum’s recently announced Prodigy Universal Processor chip. We also take a look at two recent announcements of imec’s liquid-based volumetric memory technologies.

In May 2021, Samsung announced the industry’s first Compute Express Link (CXL) memory module with a Field Programmable Controller (FPGA) on a Double Data Rate 5 (DDR5) module. This announcement also indicated that it could scale to the terabyte level. Samsung recently announced a 512GB DDR5 CXL DRAM with an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) controller. Samsung said this new CXL memory module has four times the capacity and one-fifth the system latency of the May 2021 offering. The image below shows the new CXL memory module.

They also said the new CXL memory module can scale up to tens of TB. The product will be available in an EDSFF (E3.S) form factor for use in enterprise servers and data centers. at high capacity. Samsung also announced that it will introduce an updated version of its open-source Scalable Memory Development Kit (SMDK) that enables the CXL memory expander to operate in heterogeneous memory systems with different performance memory modules. and capacity. Samsung said it will begin sampling its 512GB CXL DRAM with customers and partners for testing in the third quarter of 2022 for integration into next-generation server platforms.

Startup Tachyum has launched its universal processor, Prodigy, which the company says unifies the functionality of a CPU, GPU, and TPU into a single processor, while delivering massive performance boosts at a cost. much lower than competing products. The company states that “The Prodigy Cloud/AI/HPC supercomputer processor chip offers 4 times the performance of the fastest Xeon, has 3 times the raw performance of NVIDIA’s H100 on HPC, and has 6 times the raw performance on AI training and inference workloads, and more. at 10 times the performance at the same power. The image below shows some of the features of the new chip.

The company says sampling for Prodigy will begin later this year with volume production in the first half of 2023. Tachyum’s Prodigy family includes eight products, ranging from 128-core HPC/AI to high-end to low-end at 32 cores. -power version, to meet a wide range of markets, including cloud, supercomputing, big AI and edge. The company’s roadmap shows a Prodigy 2 chip in the 2n/a half of 2024.

Imec, the global semiconductor and nanotechnology research center in Leuven, Belgium, recently announced work on liquid-based memory for high-density storage applications. The research consortium is working on two versions of liquid memory. One based on a colloidal system and the other based on electrolithic memory. These technologies can provide storage space for archived inactive data. The liquid storage medium is pursued to provide a high volumetric storage system with liquid containing ions, molecules, or nanoparticles that can be moved to an access device that is part of a dense network.

In the colloidal memory system, shown below, a liquid (eg, water) can be used as the volumetric storage medium and dissolved nanoparticles (the colloid) as the data symbol carriers. The idea is to use a colloid of (at least) two types of nanoparticles (A and B) contained in a reservoir. This reservoir is attached to a network of capillaries, into which the nanoparticles can be inserted. Provided the nanoparticles are only slightly smaller than the diameter of the capillaries, the sequence in which the particles (bits) entered the capillaries can be preserved. It is in this sequence of bits that information can be encoded. The nanoparticles can be selectively induced (and detected) by electrodes positioned at the entrance of each capillary. A CMOS peripheral circuit controls the electrode array.

Like colloidal memory, electrolithic memory also uses a reservoir of fluid and a network of capillaries. But in this case, the metal ions are dissolved in the liquid, and the read and write operations are carried out by the more conventional techniques of electrodeposition and dissolution. The development of colloidal and electrolithic memory is at a very early stage with all products projected over the next decade.

Samsung introduced a 512GB CXL DDR5 memory module for the next generation of servers. Tachyum has announced the early availability of its Prodigy universal processor. Imec has revealed early work on two types of liquid-based volumetric memory technologies.

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